Since the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act failed in the House last month, the medical device industry’s trade group has been looking for another piece of legislation to repeal the medical device tax.
In a call with reporters yesterday, AdvaMed CEO Scott Whitaker predicted that the 2.3% levy introduced under Obamacare will be repealed this year.
“We feel pretty good that if we move to another vehicle, whether it is tax reform, [State Children’s Health Insurance Program] reauthorization or tax extenders, that leadership in the House and Senate will support moving it,” Whitaker said, according to Regulatory Focus.
The American Health Care Act, Republican’s proposed replacement plan for the ACA, included a provision to repeal the medical device tax. But Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wi) pulled the bill after the legislation faced opposition from both moderate and conservatives within the Republican party.
A hold on the 2.3% tax on U.S. medical device sales went into effect at the beginning of 2016 and is slated to expire by the end of this year.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, said last month that any taxes associated with Obamacare will not be considered when it comes to tax reform.
“We never envisioned bringing Obamacare taxes into that [tax reform] effort and I still don’t,” Brady said, noting that the ACA taxes “go away when we repeal and replace. And so regrettably, they stay in place.
“I’m encouraging [the Senate] to step forward with their repeal-and-replacement plans, because these are their Senate rules that dictates how this goes forward,” he said.
But Whitaker added that he thinks a standalone bill, like the 1 introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn) and more than 220 bipartisan leaders in January, would pass the House and the Senate.
“I think in the 2nd quarter or 3rd quarter of this year, it’ll move to the appropriate vehicle. I’m pretty confident it’ll get done this year,” he said.